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Najib Now Wants To Be Placed Under House Arrest – But How Does That Work?

Najib Now Wants To Be Placed Under House Arrest – But How Does That Work?

Najib claims an addendum in the Royal Pardon allows him to serve his remaining prison sentence under house arrest and is seeking the court to compel the government to confirm or deny the existence of the order.

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Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, 70, has filed a judicial review application in a bid to serve the remainder of his prison sentence under house arrest.

He claimed there was an addendum order by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in the royal pardon granted to him on 29 January that allows him to serve his prison sentence under house arrest.

He filed the application through law firm Messrs Shafee & Co on Monday, 1 April.

Najib named the Home Minister, the Commissioner General of Prisons, the Attorney General, the Federal Territories Pardons Board, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform), the director general of legal affairs at the Prime Minister’s Department and the government as the first to seventh respondents respectively.

Image: TRP File

According to The Star, the notice of application downloaded through the court’s e-filing system showed that Najib is seeking a mandamus order for all or one of the respondents to answer and verify the existence of the addendum order dated 29 January.

If the addendum order exists, all or one of the respondents must execute the Royal order and immediately move him from the Kajang Prison to his residence in Kuala Lumpur where he’ll serve his remaining sentence under house arrest.

Najib also seeks a mandamus order for all or one of the respondents to give a copy of the royal decree by the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah on the reduction of his prison sentence, fine, and the addendum order, both dated 29 January.

He additionally seeks costs and other reliefs deemed fit by the court.

Najib said his application was bona fide (in good faith) and he was affected badly. He filed a notice of urgency for the application to be heard before Hari Raya Aidilfitri, which is expected to fall on 10 April.

The hearing for Najib’s application has been fixed for Thursday (4 April). However, an interview with his lawyer confirmed that the hearing has been postponed to 17 April.

Najib was initially sentenced to a 12-year imprisonment after being found guilty of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering relating to RM42 million that was siphoned from SRC International, a former 1MDB subsidiary. He was also fined RM210 million.

Following the royal pardon on 2 February 2024, his jail term was reduced to 6 years and the fine imposed on him was reduced to RM50 million. This means he is scheduled for release on 23 August 2028.

READ MORE: Pardons Board Approves “50 Per Cent” Off Najib Razak’s Sentence

READ MORE: Man Behind Bars Wants Man On The Run Removed From Netflix

What is house arrest?

A house arrest is a sentence where the prisoner is confined in their residence. These individuals are only allowed to leave their homes for medical, school, or employment reasons. Other activities must be authorised and monitored within a designated period.

Just like the police procedural shows we see on TV, individuals under house arrest will be monitored using electronic devices such as ankle bracelets. The device tracks their location to ensure the individuals remain within the prescribed geographic boundaries.

According to criminologist P. Sundramoorthy, individuals under house arrest have curfews to follow.

In an article he wrote for the New Straits Times, Sundramoorthy said during the period of the house arrest, the individual can attend counselling or therapy, enrol in training courses or programmes to develop skills or pursue online learning.

In an intensive supervision programme, individuals under home detention are subjected to close monitoring and regular contact with probationary officers or other officials.

Some of the benefits of house arrests are cost-effectiveness and preventing first-time non-serious offenders and non-violent offenders from interacting with hardcore and repeat offenders.

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